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Proposal to adopt EU derogations regarding driving licences and goods, bus and coach transport licences

Ministry of Transport and Communications 20.5.2020 16.59 | Published in English on 22.5.2020 at 13.00
Press release

The Ministry of Transport and Communications has invited comments on a proposal for a government decision relating to the derogation regulation of the European Commission adopted due to the COVID-19 epidemic. According to the proposal, Finland would introduce temporary flexibility regarding the validity of driving licences as well as certificates and licences in goods, bus and coach transport, for example. Periodic roadworthiness tests of vehicles and tachograph inspections would continue as normal.

On 29 April 2020, the European Commission submitted a legislative proposal in the transport sector with the aim of providing relief to the sector during the COVID-19 epidemic by increasing flexibility in road, rail and inland waterways transport.  Based on the proposal, a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council was adopted concerning derogations to the validity of periodic roadworthiness tests and inspection certificates as well as to the validity of driving licences, driver cards, Community licences in goods, bus and coach transport and driver attestations in goods transport.

According to the EU Regulation, if the validity of a driving licence expires between 1 February and 31 August 2020, it would be extended by seven months. The renewal of the period of validity of driver cards would be extended by two months, the validity of the Community licences for goods, bus and coach transport and of the international driver attestations would be extended by six months, if these expire between 1 March and 31 August 2020.

The draft government decision proposes that Finland comply with the exemption provisions of the EU regulation in respect of the statutes mentioned above, as the flexibility provided by the regulation would make everyday life easier for people and businesses. 

In Finland, the vehicle roadworthiness tests or tachograph inspections have so far not been impaired by the coronavirus epidemic. In terms of traffic safety, tests and inspections are important. In addition, their postponement would cause disturbance to the business and have an impact on the employees in the form of possible layoffs and dismissals. That is why it is not justified to extend the validity of vehicle or tachograph inspections in Finland in the manner laid down in the EU Regulation.

What are the next steps?

The deadline for comments on the draft government decision is 22 May 2020. The request for comments is available online at www.lausuntopalvelu.fi.

Comments may be submitted by all organisations and private individuals.

The Commission must be informed of non-application of the exemption regulation by no later than 1 June 2020.

Inquiries:

Eeva Asikainen, Coordinator, tel. +358 50 522 6204 (periodic roadworthiness tests)

Erik Asplund, Chief Specialist, tel. +358 50 463 7034 (goods transport licences and tachographs)

Monika Mutanen, Senior Officer, tel. +358 50 478 4820 (driving licences)

Veli-Matti Syrjänen, Senior Specialist, tel. +358 50 470 7708 (goods transport licences and tachographs)

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